Levelling and Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor in Ombersley

I was contacted regarding a Travertine tiled floor which had been installed throughout a bungalow in the old Worcestershire village of Ombersley near Droitwich. The owner was unhappy that the tiles had not been laid completely flat and as such many were so uneven they presented a trip hazard. They were very disappointed with the floor and not sure if anything could be done about it.

Travertine Floor Before Lippage Removal Ombersley

I went over to the property to survey the floor and discuss potential solutions with the client. Having seen the problem for myself I was able to confirm this issue is know in the trade as “Lippage”. Had the tiles been made of Ceramic or Porcelain then the whole floor would have had to have been re-laid. Fortunately, being Travertine its possible to grind down the stone using a process Tile Doctor has devised we call Milling. Not only will this rectify lippage problem, but it will also restore the appearance of the stone.

The quote I provided was excepted and dates were arranged to complete the work.

Levelling a Travertine Tiled Floor

On the first day I started by adding protection to any vulnerable surfaces. This included adding a silicone bead to the bottom of the fixed kitchen units to avoid water damaging the wood and to shrink wrap any exposed kitchen appliances and white goods. Preparation is always vital as we do not want to damage anything during the renovation process.

I then started the process of lippage removal. This is done with a weighted rotary buffer machine fitted with a series of large diamond pads of increasingly higher grits. The first a very coarse 50-grit pad that is segmented. The pad is worked over the area and each section is timed, water is used to lubricate the process and checks are made after the specified time to check the lippage has gone. This pad is run over the whole floor and the floor then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum to remove the slurry that is created during the process.

Travertine Floor During Lippage Removal Ombersley

On day two I worked through the other pads in the system including the 100 and 200-grit segmented pads to further the resurface the stone. Again, water is used to lubricate the process and there is a lot of rinsing and extracting required. Again, the process is applied over all the Travertine tiles and is very time consuming. No other products are needed at this stage just water and sweat.

Travertine Floor During Lippage Removal Ombersley

Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the lippage issue was resolved and the floor level the next step was to further refine the surface of the Travertine to fully restore its polished appearance. This is done using a set of four non-segmented burnishing pads which range from 400 through to 3000 grit. Again, the pads are applied in increasing grits from coarse to very fine rinsing and extracting in-between.

The last 3000 grit pad is applied dry using a small amount of water which is sprayed onto the Travertine using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’, this pad really brings out the shine in the stone.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The last step in the restoration process was to apply a durable surface protection to the stone so it would keep its appearance for some years to come. For polished stone where you want to bring up the shine, I recommend applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder.

Travertine Floor After Lippage Removal Ombersley

The powder is applied to the floor and worked into the stone using a white buffing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. It provides a very high shine and tough durable finish which is exactly what my customer wanted. As you can see from the pictures the result was quite dramatic and I can confirm my client was delighted with the result. Finally, the uneven stone tiles were now polished and level and no longer presented a tripping hazard.

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a sealer friendly cleaning product which has been especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed polished stone and helps maintain the patina.

Travertine Floor After Lippage Removal Ombersley

 

Levelling a Travertine Tiled Floor in Worcestershire

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiles Replaced and Restored in Droitwich-Spa Kitchen

I was contacted to inspect a quarry tiled floor in the kitchen of a property in Droitwich Spa which was in need of repair and also in need of a clean and seal. Having spoken to the customer previously, I was aware there were several damaged tiles that would need replacing so before visiting the property to survey the floor I sourced potential replacements from several manufacturers so I could find one that would be a good match to the originals.

Once that was done, I went over with the samples to inspect the floor and whilst I was there marked all the damaged tiles that would need lifting and replacing. The house was quite old and many of the tiles had been badly affected by salt damage at some point in the past. Given the age of the property it could have been from efflorescence or it is possible it was flood damage as the property was about 700m from the River Salwarpe which has a history of overflowing. In fact, Droitwich Spa is known for its salt deposits and became a Spa town when the salt industry started to dwindle towards the end of the 19th century.

I worked out a quote to repair the floor, then clean and seal it which was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to remove the damaged tiles from the floor using various tools to prise the tiles away from the substrate. I then used a self-leveller to level the screed. All the new tiles would need cutting so I used a Bridge Saw with a diamond blade and proceeded to cut all the tiles to shape. The replacement tiles were then fixed in place using flexible adhesive and left to dry and then grouted.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa

The following day I moved onto cleaning the tiles. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was used to tackle any previous sealers. leaving the product to dwell for the required time and then working it into the floor with a rotary scrubbing machine. I then used Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove old grout smears and combat any efflorescence the floor was encountering, before vacuuming the remaining slurry with a wet vacuum. Once I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be, I left the tiles to dry overnight so they could be sealed the following day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair and Cleaning Droitwich Spa

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and began by using a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a semi-gloss breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise through the tile unimpeded which was important considering its history. The floor required five coats of sealer to completely seal the floor and the customer was very pleased with the result as indicated in the feedback below:

“We are very happy with the work that Mark carried out for us. Mark was very professional and always responded quickly to any enquiries that we had. We have recommended Mark to our friends and family. Thank you. Lydia B, Droitwich Spa”

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Droitwich Spa

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Worcestershire